Expat Guide

Shipping Your Stuff to the UK

For those who want to bring more of their possessions than can be brought as luggage, here are some of your options.

  • FREIGHT FORWARDING SERVICE- These companies enclose your items within a crate, insure, ship and arrange reception by a similar UK service. Such firms might only be available in port cities, coastal, Great Lakes, or maybe the Mississippi River. Almost anything can be shipped via this method, large furnishings and cars included. The downside of this is that it can take in the range of 2 months for your belongings to arrive in the UK.
  • UPS- Expensive but quick. International Shipping phone number: 800-325-0365
  • AIR FREIGHT- Standard airlines have separate freight shipping services, though expensive. Charges are by weight and size, one agent quoted $2.83 per pound as a ball park figure. This is a good method of shipping smaller fragile items or things needed immediately.
  • EXTRA BAGGAGE ON PASSENGER FLIGHT- $75-90 for each checked piece not exceeding 62” (that’s height, width, and length added together) and 70 pounds. Larger than 62” is $152.00, heavier than 70 lbs is $228.00. Prices may now be different, check most recent pricing.
  • MOVING VANS/COMPANIES- These companies will take care of all shipping from door to door, so if your moving costs are being paid by an employer, this would be the most easy/expensive method.

Delicate Items

The following comanies specialize in shipping delicate items. It would not be worthwhile to have everything shipped via one of these, but necessary for precious mementos and other valuable items. Each company is a member of the Association of Art and Antique Dealers.


Air Sea Packing Group LtdAir Sea House, Third Cross Road, Twickenham TW2 5EB.Tel: 0208 893 3303. Fax: 0208 893 3068.Email: oliver@airseapacking.com


Anglo Pacific (Fine Art) Ltd Unit 2, Bush Industrial Estate, Standard Road, London NW10 6DF. Tel: 020 8838 8008. Fax: 020 8453 0225. Email: gerryward@anglopacific.co.uk


Atlantic Fine Art LogisticsUnit 23, Riverside Business Park, Lyon Road, London SW19 2RL. Tel: 020 8543 8584. Fax: 020 8543 8586.E-mail: rupert.sloane@atlantic-overseas.com

No website..

Robert Boys ShippingUnit D, Tunnel Avenue Trading Estate, Tunnel Avenue, Greenwich, London SE10 OQH Tel: 020 8858 3355. Fax: 020 8858 3344.E-mail: boysship@ftech.co.uk


Constantine Limited

134 Queens Road, London SE15 2HR. Tel: 020 7732 8123. Fax: 020 7732 2631.E-mail: postbox@const.co.uk


Alan Franklin Transport 26 Blackmoor Road, Ebblake Industrial Estate, Verwood, Dorset, BH31 6BB. Tel: 01202 826539. Fax: 01202 827337.E-mail: alanfranklin@lineone.net


Gander & White Shipping Ltd 21 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UE. Tel: 020 7381 0571. Fax: 020 7381 5428.E-mail: ukinfo@ganderandwhite.com


Hedleys Humpers Ltd 3 St Leonards Road, London NW10 6SX. Tel: 020 8965 8733. Fax: 020 8965 0249E-mail: info1@hedleyshumpers.com

No website

Kuwahara Ltd 6 McNicol Drive, London NW10 7AW. Tel: 020 8963 1100, Fax: 020 8963 0100 E-mail: kuwahara@uk2.so-net.com


Lockson Services Ltd 29 Broomfield Street, London E14 6BX. Tel: 020 7515 8600 E-mail: shipping@lockson.co.uk


Stephen Morris Shipping plc 6 McNicol drive, Park Royal, London NW10 7AWTel: 020 8838 2929. Fax: 020 8838 6969. E-mail: enquiries@stemo.co.uk


The Packing Shop 6-12 Ponton Road, London, SW8 5BA.Tel: 020 7498 3255 Fax: 020 7498 9017 E-mail: sales@thepackingshop.co.uk


PDQ Freight Ltd (Art Move) Unit 4, Court 1, Challenge Road, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 1AX. Tel: 01784 243695. Fax: 01784 242237E-mail: artmove@pdq.uk.com


Robinson's International Aldermoor Way, Longwell Green, Bristol BS30 7DA. Tel: 0117 980 5858. Fax: 0117 980 5830E-mail: antiques@robinsons-intl.comExport Services. Shipping Goods and Containers.


Seabourne Mailpack WorldwideUnit 13, Saxon Way Trading Estate, Moor Lane, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 0LW. Tel: 020 8897 3888. Fax: 020 8897 3898.E-mail: jonathan@seabourne-mailpack.co.uk


Vulcan International Services Group Ltd Unit 1a, Westgate One, Avia Park, Staines Road, Bedfont, Middlesex, TW14 8QF. Tel: 01784 244152. Fax: 01784 248183

No Website

A. J. Williams (Shipping) 607 Sixth Avenue, Central Business Park, Petherton Road, Hengrove, Bristol, Avon BS14 9BZ. Tel: 01275 892166. Fax: 01275 891333E-mail: aj.williams@btclick.com


Import Duties and Customs

Anything imported whether via luggage or shipping is possibly subject to customs inspection and liable for import duties of 17.5%, on goods less than 6 months old. Have receipts available if you think you may be questioned on anything of value. We’ve heard that if you intend to return to the US with these items, then they are exempt and you do not need to declare them.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs: notice 3 ‘Bringing your belongings and private motor vehicle to the UK from outside the EU’

HMRC: form C3 ‘Bringing your personal belongings to the UK from outside the EU’

HMRC: form C104A ‘Importation of a private motor vehicle into the United Kingdom on transfer of residence from outside the European Community (EC)’

HMRC: form C179B ‘Re-importation of an unaccompanied private motor vehicle from outside the European Community (EC)’

HMRC: form C104AVessels ‘Importation of a private vessel into the United Kingdom on transfer of residence from outside the European Community (EC)

Bringing Cash?

There is no tax or duty on cash brought into the UK from outside the EU but you are required to declare cash of 10,000 euros or more (or equivalent).

Find out more from HMRC

Good Imported for Temporary Use

If you are moving to the UK for a specified period of time, for example a student coming to study, you can claim Temporary Import (TI) relief on goods for your period of stay in the EC up to a maximum of 24 months.

To claim, goods must be imported for a specific use and intended for re-export from the UK within a specified time.

HMRC notice 200 ‘Temporary importation’


Storage facilities vary in price from region to region, but in the Midwest, $50.00 per month is a good price for a single car garage size storage unit, be sure to shop around, and check out how well the sites are maintained. Take your favorite cookware, and recipes, but note that you should bring your own measuring spoons and cups with you as you might have trouble finding American measures in the UK. If you do, the measurement sizes could be different. 

In short, you may be better off to sell the cars and cheap older furniture rather than store them. Cars depreciate, get mucked up from disuse, and create insurance trouble later on if policies aren’t maintained.


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